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Azul Beach Resort Negril by Karisma
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Reviewed March 8, 2013

Where to start!!

We hired our own driver through Danny's Island Excursions which was a great start to the holiday. We stopped off for jerk chicken and some red stripes at Jerky's in Mobay and another beer stop and still arrived ahead of the bus. On arrival we were greeted by O'Brien and Tracey with glasses of champagne. We sat in the lobby drinking champagne while all the check-in was done for us. I've never had that kind of experience before....a really nice touch. Bumped into Tracey at many times throughout the week and she remembered my name and always took time to chat to see how our trip was going.

Our room was fine, much as we expected, on the second floor with a lovely view of the sea, as it appears most of the rooms do. We were close to the road but with the AC on and the bathroom door closed it was fine although some evenings we did sleep with the patio doors open. No real problem with mosquitoes at all.

The first evening was an outdoor beach party which was fantastic. Food was spectacular! Shout out to the fantastic entertainment crew O'Ryan, Vanessa and Novelette. Thanks for the great CD O'Ryan! Vanessa and Novelette both sang accapella one evening...what amazing voices!

Evenings out to Jungle (Thursday evening Ladies Night but doesn't get going till 11:30 or so), Margaritaville (Friday evening....ask about the $20 deal which includes transportation and all you can drink), Bourbon Beach and a small bar on the cliffs were fabulous!

The Love Bus Bar Crawl with Lenbert was amazing! I booked him separately and got about 12 people from our resort and we picked up a few more at Coco La Palm. An amazing experience! Lenbert took us to some smaller bars that we wouldn't normally have discovered. Some great ones on the cliffs and some spectacular views of the sea splashing up through the caves. It was quite rough seas for a few days while we were there. He also stopped at Rick's for a few minutes although not one of his usual stops, so some of the newcomers to Jamaica could say they'd been.

I honestly can't say enough about the staff. The bar staff are all extremely friendly. We never had a problem with long waits for drinks. Thanks to Junior who walked our first round of drinks out onto the beach for us! Great service also from Sheryl, Alphonso, Vinton, Wayde and especially Noelle...what a sweetheart.

The food all week at the buffet was spectacular...honestly think it's the best buffet food I've had. Margaret makes amazing omelettes and always has a smile on her face! Hello to Hyacinth also! Other great servers - Clintroy, Robert, Anietta, Omelia to name a few.

Food in the Italian Restaurant we found was much better than the Caribbean. Thanks to Elrey and Markon in the Caribbean for really adding to the experience...not many restaurants you go to in Canada where you dance with the waiters or have birthday cake delivered on the waiter's head!

We had some great trips out on the water...a jet-ski, a hobie-cat, a glass bottom boat and a catamaran. Stay away from Hedo if you don't want to get "mooned" as you pass by!

One of the great things about being on 7 mile is being able to walk along the beach and experience some Jamaican culture...lots of great bars along the way. We took a look at Sandals and although it looks spectacular and has some great amenities, not sure it would be too big.

Honestly, I find it hard to believe what people have to complain about here and sometimes when chatting to other guests it seemed like they were staying at another resort! Your holiday is what you make of it and if you seriously have nothing better to do than keep track of the number of minutes it takes waiting for food or drinks, then you should stay home. The only reason I needed to know the time for was when the bar was going to open!

In any case, here are my suggestions for some improvements:

Definitely need more shade. We hate the towel game also but some friends saved us spots with them everyday under a tree or we would have been burned to a crisp. As another reviewer said it would be a good idea that after a certain length of time, towels and belongings are removed. We also saw the "resident" mentioned in another review who took over an entire section of beach every morning....it was tempting to get up earlier and move his stuff!

Food in the Beachside Restaurant is really good but very slow and disorganized. There doesn't seem to be any system - they need a numbering system and more staff. Sometimes there is only one person trying to do everything and it seems they only start someone's order when they have completely finished the previous one. Then food is left sitting out without guests knowing it's ready. Jamaican patties are great and fill the gap between meals on the beach!

There should be more signage about what is going on each day. There's a small sign at reception with an outline of the week's activities which I only found half way through the week. They should think about having a large A-frame sign by the beach so people know what's going on.

We were asked to complete an on-line survey as we were leaving which were were most happy to do, but as our transportation was waiting to take us to the airport, the timing was not good. They should approach guests before their last day or send an email survey.

Water pressure in the bathroom is not great...presumably this will be addressed with the new upgrades.


The highlight of our trip was all the wonderful people we met this trip. Hello to all our new Canadian and American friends!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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11  Thank CambridgeGriffy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2013

Thank you Seashore Bay Beach Resort for a glorious week, Feb 25 to March 4 2013. Beach was wonderful, we never had any trouble finding somewhere to enjoy it - be it shade or sun. We do not indulge in the so called towel wars, we find it repugnant and a great example of a "first world problem" in action. Get a life! Food was fresh , delicous and hot. Snapper sandwich at the beach grill highly recommended. Staff were all phenomenal and personable. We enjoyed a special candlelight dinner, set up in advance by email. Thank you Lensworth, you are a gentleman and a true romantic, and you made the evening unforgettable. Thank you to Ewan , from your warm welcome, your friendly shoutouts to us whenever you saw us, to your warm goodbye, you helped make the week what it was. We recommend this resort to anyone who likes a smaller resort where you can interact with staff and other guests as you choose. We know that change is inevitable, so are very happy we experienced it as it is now.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank bcbeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2013

Negril is simply awesome went down for 2 week's. I can't say enough about this resort, staff, food, location everything about this resort is wonderful. Will be returning again next year, met a lot of friends and staff I'll miss.

Room Tip: All room's have a view of the ocean.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank pamelashane57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2013

Before booking our trip to the Seashore, I checked the reviews and they were all wonderful. Then the week leading up to the trip saw more negative reviews being posted, so I was apprehensive. My worries were laid to rest the minute we got to the resort. This is probably one of the best hotels I've stayed at, which says a lot since I've mainly stayed at 4+ star hotels.

Yes, the rooms could use updating. But do you really go to Jamaica to stay in your room? It's clean and the beds are decent. Not to mention the mini-fridge was always well-stocked; never needed to ask for more water bottles.

The food, though not a huge selection, was delicious. The best jerk chicken I've eaten at the beach grill.

The staff was always so friendly and not only with the promise of a tip like at other places. Yes, the service could be slow at times. You're on vacation. Do you need to be anywhere in a hurry?

If you're hesitant about staying at the Seashore, just do it! You will be pleasantly surprised.

As the locals say: I hope to soon be back there!

  • Stayed: February 2013
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10  Thank blue_eyes14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2013

We stayed at this property from Feb 25 to Mar 4, 2013. It was a very enjoyable vacation.

Staff:
Every member of staff with whom we crossed paths greeted us with a smile and was very friendly and helpful. From the moment we stepped out of the bus we were made to feel welcome. Porters were on hand to handle the luggage and we were invited to sit comfortably in the lobby to complete the check-in process. Waiters were there to take orders for some well earned liquid refreshment. Our room was ready immediately and we were escorted there by one of the front desk staff who gave us a quick familiarization tour of the property along the way. Our bags arrived at the room within 5 minutes.

Service:
Service was excellent. We found it to be consistently friendly and efficient across all staff teams from Lobby to Kitchen to Entertainment to Wait Staff, Bartenders to Gardeners to Maintenance Staff.

Cleanliness:
At any time of day in any location on the property maintenance staff could be observed sweeping, raking, mopping, etc. (one morning at about 0400 I happened to look out the balcony doors and saw a property maintenance person raking leaves in the moonlight!)
It was no easy feat to keep the floors and patios clean of beach sand which we guests happily tracked up from the beach at a respectable rate but there was always someone with mop or broom keeping the place clean.
And speaking of the beach... not only was it raked clean of flotsam every morning but was well monitored throughout the day and kept clear of plates, glasses, straws, and other debris.
The public washrooms were always clean and ordourless... unless you happened to follow a cigar smoking patron inside...even that was not unpleasant...it smelled like one more scent which one enjoys on a tropical vacation.

Location:
The property is located toward the northern end of beautiful 7 mile beach (if you are trying to locate it on google maps it is labelled "Beaches Sandy Bay" (its former name) not to be confused with "Beaches Negril" which is farther along the beach).
We walked the beach every day just loving it...one can walk about 1 km north to the border of Hedonism II resort, and further if you do not mind passing through a nudist area. Not being so inclined we generally walked south 2 or 3 Kms before turning around...if you wish to keep going it is possible to walk all the way to the town of Negril.
As the beach is oriented North-South and facing West you will be able to watch the sun sink into the sea every evening. Take a table on the patio, enjoy the evening breeze, order a couple of cocktails and watch the sunset before heading in for dinner. Nice.

Small Resort Intimacy:
Given the smaller size of this resort (compared to some of the mega resorts we have visited) one becomes familiar with faces seen on a daily basis and before long new friendships may develop. This can really add to the fun and makes the experience feel a little more homey and intimate.

Room:
Our room was in building 7 the front of which is angled toward the beach. This positioning means that all rooms in the building have a sea view. Building 6 was across from us and positioned in the same manner. Although we did not note the positions of the other buildings on the property I believe the majority of rooms enjoy a sea view.
Our room had a king bed (comfortable) and double French doors leading to a decently sized balcony where we would sometimes sit to get a reprieve from that glorious sunshine and catch a nice breeze.
The room was somewhat dated what with older bathroom fixtures (original tub but new shower head, etc..) and some minor wear and tear, a window A/C unit which is a tad noisy but not too bad. The room was freshly painted and clean and we were comfortable there.
One thing we noted was a lack of hot water....it ranged from cold to luke warm but this was no great inconvenience and was rather refreshing after a sunny day on the beach.
Oh, and one other thing...there is no beer in the mini-bar...it is stocked with water, juice and softdrinks...but NO beer...this may not be a concern for most but I always liked the convenience of grabbing a cold one or 2 and heading out to the balcony.

Food:
The buffet restaurant was our favourite dining place. There was a good variety for the carnivore..chicken, beef, goat, pork, fish, turkey, crab, mussels, clams....at least 3 or 4 choices were available at any given meal....along with various vegetables, salad makings, desserts, etc....
My spouse is a vegetarian and sometimes found the meal choices limited but at most meals was happy with what was offered.
Favourite meal for both of us was the breakfast omelete...one scoops one's ingredients from the dishes provided and hands to the chef who then adds the eggs and fries them up....do you want cheese with that? (My choice: bacon, green and red peppers, onion, spinach, tomato....hold the cheese....and top with smoked salmon....add salsa sauce on top and go to omelete heaven)
Thursday nights dinner is served on the beach under the stars while the surf almost laps at your feet. Very nice. The tables seat 8 so this provides a good opportunity to meet some new people.

"The Towel Game":
This is a game commonly played on beach resorts throughout the Caribbean. If you do not know what the towel game is, it is this...When you wish to stake out a particular palapa, beach bed, or beach chair for the day, you rise at an unholy hour, slink to the beach and place your beach towels over the chairs, bed, etc along with a personal item or 2 (a pair of flip flops, a book, etc), and then return to bed and sleep for 2 or 3 more hours.
We have sat on resort beaches and observed prime beach beds and chairs covered with towels all the way into mid afternoon while no one showed up to occupy them. While I despise the towel game I have no choice but to play it and play it well if I want a good beach position for the day. At Seashore Bay during the week we were there I arose at 0600, then 0500, then finally 0400 before I could find a decent position....It was at this point that I realized people were staking out chairs the night before!
Solution: I have seen this solution applied at 2 other resorts and I would urge Seashore Bay (and any other resort for that matter) to do the same....to wit: signs were posted at all Palapas, Beach Beds etc..."Belongings left unattended for more that 30 minutes will be moved to the lost and found". Sounds simplistic but no one was playing the towel game and there was always available chairs.

Summary:
We had a great time and found this resort to be very good value for the price.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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7  Thank BeachedWood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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